Tell us one such vegetable or ingredient that can possibly go with almost any dish! We bet it is tomatoes. These can be added to any type of cooking, and only to add better tastes. But do you know, there are countless varieties of these tomatoes existing around the world? So if you dint know, let us learn together today! And if you think what’s the big deal and difference between several numbers and kind of tomatoes, we will tell you that too!
What are Tomatoes?
What exactly are tomatoes? Are they fruits or vegetables? Well, this confusion is there for most of us right from our childhood. Tomato falls into the category of the berry of the plant called Solanum Lycopersicum. They originally came from Southern to Central American regions. These are the red ‘berry’ that comes with seeds from a flowering plant. Because they come from the flowering plant and still have seeds (that we consume), botanists often categorize tomatoes as fruits. Now we know, isn’t it!
Categories and Types of Tomato Plants:
If you do not know, the types of tomato plants generally fall under two categories—determinate and Indeterminate plants. The determinate tomato plants come in a variety of bushes that grow up to three feet tall. They are good-standing plants that produce branches, buds, flowers, and then ripen fruits. These plants flower to give fruits and then die after a certain period of time.
On the other hand, indeterminate tomato plants are the vining kind of variety. These require boundaries, caging, or sticks for support, or they will continue to grow like a vine. These types of tomatoes are longer crops and produce a large quantity of tomatoes than the other kind. They can grow from 6 to 20 inches too!
Heirlooms Vs. Hybrid Tomatoes:
What exactly are these heirloom and hybrid varieties of tomatoes? Which kind of tomatoes are popular, and what tomatoes do we buy in the market? Confused?! Let us explain you.
Heirlooms are those tomatoes that are very old, indeed in most cases over forty or fifty years. They are almost like family trees that grow without crossbreeding and without dying. These tomato heirloom varieties are known to taste better, given that they are inherent to heirlooms, do not go with any chemicals, and often produce healthy fruits and flowers.
On the other hand, Hybrids are those which are crossbred. The farmers or breeders cross-pollinate two different plants to produce the hybrid offspring, which has traits of both the plant parents. These give results to bigger size tomatoes often. The advantages of hybrid tomatoes, if not flavor, are those pertaining to diseases and pests. They are less prone to these pests and resist diseases, making them easy to maintain for breeders. They also have a higher yield, early maturity.
Most Famous and Popular Types of Tomatoes:
Now, let us go ahead and explore the most popular and well-known list of types of tomato varieties names we often encounter in the market in and around us.
1. Cherry Tomatoes:
Cherry tomatoes are the favorites for most of us. They come in reddish, orange, and yellow shades and have a burst of bright color when added to any meal. The cherry tomatoes are round-sized, smaller in size comparatively, and are soft and fluffy – remember, then can just burst when you bite them. They can be dried and cooked or sauteed, grilled, and cooked. These small, tender types of tomatoes are the most famous ones to add in several Italian recipes and salads and sauces. Most consider this is the best type of tomato. There are, however, types of cherry tomatoes such as sun gold cherry tomato, yellow pear, Italian ice cherry tomato, and more!
2. Red Beefsteak Tomatoes:
These red beefsteak types of tomatoes are also popularly called salsa tomatoes. They are large-sized tomatoes with a vast content of water and juice within them. Red beefsteak are firm and sturdy and are known to have excellent immune-boosting properties and antioxidants. They are overall very flavorful and have a balanced, rich flavor of tanginess and sweetness. Given their size and perfect firm texture, juiciness, these tomatoes are ideal for hamburgers, hotdogs, or make sauces.
3. Green Beefsteak Tomatoes:
Then, we even have the green beefsteak tomatoes, do you know them?! As the name suggests, these green beefsteaks are an unripened version of the above. They are round and firm, sturdy, large in green shaded color, with a meaty texture. These types of tomatoes are hence very tangy and crunchy too. These green beefsteak tomatoes are perfect for juicing, grilling, pickles, and salsa gave the unripe version.
4. Grape Tomatoes:
The types of grape tomatoes are quite the famous variety; the taste, however, varies from being sweet to a bit of tangy flavor, depending on the type of plant. These tomatoes have thicker skin and texture, are dense, with an overall colorful look. They don’t contain much water content, are crispy and crunchy when cooked, and are versatile for various dishes. These can be added in salads, grilling, sandwiches, and snacking to give rich flavor and taste, with the perfect mix of sweetness and tanginess.
5. Roma Tomatoes:
These are famously popular as the Italian type plum tomatoes, and hence the name ‘Roma.’ The Roma tomatoes are tangy and perfect with a flavorful taste. They are larger than other traditional sizes of these fruits. The Romas are ideal for making sauces, stews, and soups, given the intense flavor. You can even roast the tomatoes for a creamy feel and look. They have very few seeds and are firm yet juicier, making them ideal for working on several Italian recipes. We love salads, sauces, and sandwiches with types of Roma tomatoes.
6. Cocktail Tomatoes:
These come into the traditional tomato flavor, with a fruity and sweety feel and texture. The cocktail tomatoes are pretty versatile, can go into several dishes and at any occasion in hand. They are soft, dense, and meaty in texture, come in various sizes, depending on the produce. They are filled with great flavor and aroma overall and gives a fruity look. The cocktail tomatoes are perfect for grilling, sauces, stuffing, and for making several kinds of pasta.
7. Brandywine Tomatoes:
The Brandywine tomatoes fall into the larger size tomato category, with pinkish and reddish color shades. They are popular fleshy variants and are difficult to find, grown only in certain areas. They are firm tomatoes, fleshy and juicy, with the perfect blend of rich flavours such as tanginess, mild sweetness. Given their larger size and texture, they are perfect for slicing than for juices. Use them for sandwiches, salads, and burgers, for an excellent taste.
8. Black Krim Tomatoes:
As the name suggests, these kinds of tomatoes are definitely don’t look as reddish or pinkish as the others. Instead, they are large and come in a reddish-purple shade of color. The taste is sweet and rich in flavors, with a bit of a salty feel. These black Krim tomatoes also have a pinch of acidic taste in them. Thus, they are perfect for bringing on salsa, salads, and cocktails.
9. Campari Tomatoes:
Campari tomatoes are not many popular varieties. However, they are famous among the chef circles, given their juicy innate nature. The camparis are with very low acidity but very high levels of sugar. They are darker red color (mostly even darker than the cherry tomatoes) but are very small in size and round in shape. Given their sugar levels in natural content, Campari tomatoes are preferred for salads, unique meat recipes, and sauces. They are popular even in Italian cuisine, for pizzas and pasta.
10. Cherokee Purple Tomatoes:
The Cherokee purple tomatoes are a rare kind of variety that comes with the red and purple color mix. They have a blend of sweet and smoky flavor with a firmer texture. The Cherokee purple tomatoes come in medium to a larger size and are rich in acidic content. They are thick-skinned, are perfect for slicing too. These ones are perfect with mild cooking and sauteeing and ideal for sandwiches or salads, given their tasty content.
11. Early Girl Tomato:
Just like the name suggests, one can guess it right – these tomatoes are harvested early than usual, even before their maturity. They grow fast and early in the seasons, in cooler climates comparatively. The early girl tomatoes are deep red in color, with a perfect rich traditional tomato taste of sweetness. They are medium-sized hybrid tomato varieties and are ideal for making soups and rich salads, given natural taste.
12. Pear Tomatoes:
The pear tomatoes, as the name suggests, come in pear and teardrop shape. They are small to medium in size, are an heirloom variety that is yellowish and orange in color. They generally do not have vibrant tastes and are very mild and subtle. Instead, the pear tomatoes are perfect for making recipes and items that need preservation. For example, they are good to prepare jams, pickles, salsas, and sauces.
13. Zebra Tomatoes:
The zebra tomatoes are ideally famous as the salad tomatoes and come in two variants – both green and purplish color. These tomatoes have stripes running through them and are round in shape. They taste a more zingy kind of flavor with a tint of spiciness compared to their counterparts. They are famous for salads, soups, and salsa.
14. Caspian Pink Tomatoes:
The Caspian pink types of tomatoes are pinkish shade, with medium to the larger size. They are perfectly juicy and sweet tomatoes, with excellent rich flavors within. The Caspians often are called among the finest tasting tomato range. They are mostly available near the areas of Russia and are famous for recipes such as sautee, cooking, and salad.
15. Valencia Tomatoes:
The Valencia tomatoes are an heirloom variety that comes in orangish color. They have several seeds within them and give perfect juicy flavor and taste. Valencia tomatoes taste almost similar to citrus fruits, with sweetness and tanginess. They are popularly used for making sauces.
16. Yellow Stuffer Tomatoes:
As the name suggests, yellow stuffer tomatoes are perfect for making stuffing dishes and recipes. They come in bright yellow color, almost resembling lemons. These types of tomatoes shape like peppers and look hollow. They are medium in size and are not much sweeter. These can be quickly scooped and used for stuffing recipes.
17. San Marzano Tomatoes:
San Marzano tomatoes are among the unique kinds of plants that give a very high yield. They are a variety that comes under plum tomatoes, are oblong in shape, and appear very pointed and thin. They are, however, larger in size, have fewer seeds. The taste is a blend of traditional tomato flavor, with sweetness and a tinge of acidic feel. They are heavily used in pizzas, pasta, sauces, lasagnas.
18. Raf Tomatoes:
This is another rare kind of unique tomato that is grown initially from a hybrid artificial selection method. The Raf tomatoes originate in Spain and are much flatter in shape. They have high salt content and a less watery feel, too, are firmer in texture and look. They are very famous in Spanish cuisine.
Interesting Facts About Tomatoes:
Do you know, there are few shocking and exciting facts about these fruit-vegetables too.
- By now, you know – tomatoes don’t always come in red color, as we see in our respective homes. They can even be black, purple, and green in color!
- Tomatoes are the official state vegetable in the US state of New Jersey!
- Across the world, if we count the number of varieties of tomatoes, many believe that they cross over 10,000! Isn’t it shocking?
- Over 94 per cent of the content in tomatoes (well, at least most varieties of tomatoes) is water.
- America consumes more tomatoes than several other countries, and per year, an average American consumes 24 pounds of tomato in the year.
- It is also the most grown plant in several households across the world.
- The leaves of tomatoes are toxic in nature.
Well, we definitely did not know that several such types of tomatoes exist. Did you?! How many kinds and varieties of tomatoes did you encounter until the date, and What do you think about this? Let us know your comments below.
This is exclusively a guide about types of tomatoes for informative purposes only. The opinions and overview in this article are provided from various sources across the web. The author does not guarantee or promise any accuracy of facts provided in this article.